Venable partner David L. Strickland was interviewed in a May 16, 2015 TechNewsWorld article on self-driving car technology. Last week, Google announced that it would begin testing prototypes of its fully autonomous self-driving cars on public roads. Another version tested by the company has logged nearly a million miles on test tracks and public roads.
"People will have to believe that self-driving cars are safe before they embrace the technology," said Strickland. "The Google vehicles are certain to perform better than people in executing the driving task safely, but there is a truism that drivers overestimate their own skills, and the first time a self-driving vehicle is involved in a crash, the media will drill in on whether the machine made an error." He said the self-driving cars would have to be "virtually perfect to overcome these acceptance issues."
Strickland said having the cars on public roads would go a long way towards acceptance. He said people are ready to embrace them and view them as more than a "Buck Rogers sci-fi experiment." He added, "First adopters and technologists are clearly going to be the first in line, but the change that needs to happen is that everyday people and families need to look at this technology as normal as a smartphone, in terms of how it is integrated into everyday life and the advantages it provides."